Value of Yard Tree Logs

Yard tree value is low because of the probability of hitting metal. But some sawyers still take them. December 12, 2008

I'm looking for someone who might be interested in five older black walnut trees in my yard. The trees were here when the house was built in 1949. I live in Evansville, Wisconsin.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor J:
I hope you can find someone who can saw the trees. Try looking up sawyers or portable sawmills in the phonebook, or look for a list of local Wood-Mizer owners that you could talk to for leads on local wood producers.

It's good that you want to turn the wood into something other than firewood. If I was closer we could talk about turning blanks, but Wisconsin is a long haul from NC.

From contributor E:
Look up the Wisconsin State Department of Forestry. Ask them for some dependable loggers in your area. Get paid before trees are cut.

From contributor V:
Good walnut logs can be sold for veneer. Also in my area, with good trees easy to get to, typically split 60% owner, 40% logger/hauler. Could be different considering today's haul cost (diesel or gas) and the haul distance. Also you'll have stumps to deal with.

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From contributor C:
Don't get too excited about big bucks for these trees - they are yard trees. Yard trees are only worth a fraction of what timber trees are worth.

From contributor T:
I agree - the yard trees may not be worth too much. It is still possible to get a fair amount, but in my area of the northeast, loggers and property owners go 50/50 with the wood, minus trucking to the mill. The property owner of course deserves a fair amount, but logging and tree work is dangerous work, and the cutter needs to know where to place correct cuts. General tree companies have no idea how to correctly drop a tree for lumber, and cut it for lumber. It may be best, greatly depending on the tree's location to a house or wires, to pay a tree company to remove the tops, and leave a trunk for a logger to deal with.

From contributor S:
Most loggers that I know won't mess with yard trees. A tree service will do the work, of course, but they'll want plenty of money to do it. If a homeowner can get a yard tree removed and the tops and brush cleaned up in exchange for the wood, then that's a good deal. Walnut and cherry are about the only trees worth doing this kind of a trade.

From contributor R:
This is one of three walnut trees that were in a yard. They were all full of metal like everyone has posted. This cost the customer $100.00 for two bimetal blades and $50.00 for two regular blades plus my time. You are really taking a chance going this route.

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From contributor J:
Tramp metal is a fact of life with yard trees. Does that mean they should never be sawn? No. It means that one should proceed with caution, use a metal detector, and expect to hit some metal. I have had sawyers use old blades expressly to deal with this issue.

From contributor D:
All I saw is yard trees. You guys leave them to me...

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From contributor R:
I do not pass up any yard trees either, but when sawing for someone else, I make sure they fully understand what to expect. Great looking wood, contributor D.

From contributor G:
Realistically, if you (brought) these logs to a mill in this area you would get about .50 board foot. One can easily find out BF in the standing tree and go from there. No veneer buyer is going to purchase from a homeowner of a yard tree. Make the best deal you feel comfortable with. At the very least it should cost you nothing.

From contributor B:
Very nice, contributor D. Do you use a metal detector or just look it over and saw it up? What percentage of the trees you get have metal in them?

From contributor D:
I visually inspect the logs and use a metal detector, and still hit plenty of metal. I don't know the exact percentage. A guess would be 4 out of 10 have at least something. 1/20 are just loaded with junk. It can be discouraging at times, but I am not paying for the logs - most are free. If I do have anything invested in them, it is a fraction of current market value for timber harvested logs. Yard trees are usually avoided by mills. I just do things differently by choice. I would rather hit a few nails than just have them hauled off and burned.